The fushi tarazu (ftz) gene of Drosophila acts early in embryogenesis to regulate body segmentation. The localization of the ftz protein product in embryos was examined using indirect immunofluorescence microscopy. Antibodies were prepared against a beta-galactosidase-ftz hybrid protein made in E. coli. The ftz protein was first detectable in blastoderm-stage embryos as seven stripes of nuclei encircling the embryos transversely. The stripes persist through the early events of gastrulation, but disappear before overt segmentation is visible. The ftz protein is expressed a second time in some nuclei of the developing nervous system. In contrast to the early pattern, at the later stage, ftz is expressed in each of fifteen metameric subunits of the embryo.